California Authority of Racing Fairs

Vocal Two-Circuit Supporters in Cali Come Out Firing in First of Many Expected North/South Skirmishes

The precarious, up-in-the-air future of California racing and whether or not the state can continue to support two geographic year-round circuits was made no clearer after Thursday's California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) meeting. The 3 1/2-hour session was dominated by discussion of competing North-versus-South plans that both tried to carve a sustainable path forward while underscoring the dire circumstances that face the industry with the June 9 closure of Golden Gate Fields looming like an unavoidable asteroid. Although the CHRB concluded the meeting--which featured testimony that was at times emotional,...

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Berkeley City Council Ordinance Could Close Golden Gate Early

Berkeley City Council could vote on an ordinance that, if passed, would essentially lead to the premature closure of Golden Gate Fields and throw into question the near-term future of the Northern California horse colony, workforce and training colony, the latter already buffeted by 25% cuts to the track's purses. The Bay Area racetrack is scheduled to race from Dec. 26 through June 9, 2024, after which the facility is set to close permanently. The proposed ordinance--which makes the claim that confining a horse to its stall for the majority...

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CHRB Sets '24 NorCal Schedule, but GGF's Closure Remains 'Elephant in the Room'

The California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) on Thursday approved a calendar that fleshed out the Northern California racing schedule through mid-September 2024. But the initiative still left race-date gaps late in the year that must be addressed both for next season and the future as stakeholders and regulators attempt to realign the circuit in the wake of news that Golden Gate Fields will not be part of the racing landscape beyond next June. Back on July 16, 1/ST Racing, which owns both Santa Anita Park and Golden Gate Fields, announced...

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Proposed Legislation Suggests Extra Six Months Of Racing at Golden Gate

If Golden Gate Fields is not licensed to operate beyond July 1 next year, proceeds from simulcast wagering in the north are funneled south when there is no racing in the northern half of the state, according to proposed legislation introduced in Sacramento. The rule of thumb is that proceeds from wagers made in the "northern zone" stay in Northern California to pay for purses and operational expenses, while the proceeds from wagers made in the "southern zone" stay in Southern California for the same purposes. According to California Authority...

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Northern California Trainers React to Golden Gate Closure, Plot Their Next Moves

Whether someone had the biggest stable in Northern California or a two-horse operation, the news released Sunday that Golden Gate Fields, which opened in 1941, will shut down at the end of the meet in December was a punch to the gut and led to a great deal of uncertainty. Horsemen have just five months to figure out what they will do next. The possibilities are many. They could shift their operations to Santa Anita. They could stay put and hope that the California Authority of Racing Fairs (CARF) circuit...

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California State Fair Cancels Weekend Racing

Opening weekend for Thoroughbred racing at the California State Fair's Cal Expo in Sacramento has been cancelled due to projected extreme temperatures, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) said in a release Wednesday. Racing was scheduled Friday-Sunday, July 14-16. The CHRB follows an Inclement Weather Policy (IWP) which examines temperature, wind speed, and humidity to include recommendations and requirements pertaining to the heat index. The IWP lists the heat index in steps, beginning at 130, the point at which some horses experience discomfort. The danger to horses increases at 150,...

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'23 Dates for Northern California Edge Closer to Finalization

A 2023 race dates template for the Northern California circuit came closer to being finalized at Thursday's California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) meeting, with commissioners unanimously voting to largely mirror the framework of the 2022 schedule. The lone exception was that the board held off on a decision on whether Ferndale (Humboldt County Fair) would once again have to run its second of two weeks of racing at the end of August against overlapping competition from the commercial licensee Golden Gate Fields. That part of the vote was parsed out...

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